Summer 2017: Body Work for Public Speaking

Standing Woman_Black and White outfitHave you ever thought about how your body affects your public speaking?  How the way you move, hold yourself, and breathe all play a role in creating a powerful presence?

That’s the subject of a two-session “Body Language and Awareness for Public Speaking” mini-course I’m giving on two Tuesdays beginning July 26, at the 92nd Street Y.  Last year’s course was sold out!

Click here  to register, and for more information.  Or email us for private or small group sessions .

A Hairy Story

Let your face shine

Some people may see stars in their eyes, but others only see hair. That’s because it’s in their face and distracting the audience. Women with long hair, in particular, run the risk of hair-in-the-eyes.

Jessica Biel hair
Long tresses might be stylish, but they can distract and take away from your message.

Have you ever noticed how someone will continue to push the hair away from their face? Often they’re not even conscious of this movement, but it’s a distraction for the audience.

Don't be like Caroline
Hair in the face gets in the way. Wear long hair away from the face.

The audience wants to see your face and your expressions. Bangs covering your eye may look sexy in a picture, but on a platform or stage bangs that hang over your eyebrow only hide your eyes.

Good hair: Facial expressions and eye contact are easier when hair is styled away from the face or pulled back.

If your hair is long, be sure it’s pulled behind your ears or in a pony tail.  So, let your hair frame your face, not cover it.

 

What the Academy Awards can teach us

Academy Awards Oscar statueThis year’s Academy Awards was about glamour, glitz, political statements, and the craft of movie making.  But beyond that, it was a great opportunity to see a multitude of speaking styles in action.

Perhaps one of  the best speeches of the night was Leonardo Di Caprio’s acceptance as best actor.  He gave an impassioned, articulate speech that ranged from thanking his screen collaborators to bridging into the case for global warming when he noted that the film, “Revenant” had to go far south on location to find snow.

Other notable presenters included Eddie Redmayne, whose timing and delivery were impeccable.  And then there was Vice President Joe Biden, who spoke with more energy and passion than I’ve ever seen him deliver, when he talked about sexual abuse.  Louis Gossett Jr. presented a dignified introduction to the “In Memoriam” tribute, while Louis C.K. delivered a wry standup routine (albeit with a little too much hand movement) praising producers of short documentaries.

Some, such as Patricia Arquette, recited in an uninterested-sounding, dull monotone. while others rushed through their presentation, nervously rattling off names of people they wanted to thank.

Reading from a teleprompter, as the presenters did, provides challenges.  They get one run-through rehearsal, and that’s it.

So, what tips can we apply from the Academy Awards when we deliver a presentation?

  •  Whether delivering your presentation from a teleprompter, a script, or notes, always be sure the font size is large enough and legible. You don’t want to squint, trip over your words, or look like you’re reading.
  • Ladies, if you’re wearing new shoes or high heels for any presentation, rehearse in them. Walk in front of a mirror, and notice your stance.  And – this goes for men and women – if you’re wearing a new outfit that you’re not used to, do a dry run-through.  Practice walking at home, look in the mirror and notice how you look.  You want to get used to the way you feel.
  • If using a script, teleprompter, or  notes that you or someone else have written, always familiarize yourself with the text in advance. Practice makes perfect.  When you’re nervous you’re more apt to flub lines, especially if you haven’t studied them.
  • No matter what you’re saying or reading to an audience, find the meaning, and put the passion in it.

You can find many more examples of good – and not so good presentations and acceptances – from the Oscars online.  Use them as a learning tool for your next presentation.  And you, too, may shine like a star!

How Public Speaking Can Help Your Career

Credit- Studio Tdes, The Daily English Show
Credit- Studio Tdes, The Daily English Show

Ace That Job Interview or New Business Pitch

Whether you’re an employee looking to further your career,  an entrepreneur or a business executive targeting new clients, there is nothing like a job interview or a new business pitch to put your communications skills to the test.  How you come across to a potential employer or client can be as important– if not more important– as your business ­­­skills themselves.

Employers and clients not only look for your skill set; they want to know your personality.  And, sometimes it just comes down to the chemistry between you and the interviewer(s).

It’s understandable if you have the jitters when it comes time for the job interview or business presentation.  After all, it’s important to your career and to your business growth.  Here are some tips to help you prepare for that big job interview or business pitch.

Before the Interview

  • Expect to be nervous. It’s only natural when there is something at stake.  So,  expect some amount of nervousness.  Go with the flow, and accept that your nervousness may be excitement and anticipation, rather than fear and dread.  And remember that the interviewer has as much at stake as you do, in hiring the right person for the right job.
  • Carry yourself confidently. How you carry yourself is as important as the clothes you wear for that interview or presentation.  Look in the mirror and view yourself both standing up and sitting down.  Remember that first impressions count, so the way you enter a room for that first introduction or handshake is important.  When sitting down, remember to sit up straight, but not stiff.  Practice your stance beforehand. Notice your interviewer’s  body language, and take a cue from that.  If they are sitting erect, do so.  If they tend to lean forward, you may want to slightly do so as well.
  • Be prepared. Anticipate questions your potential employer or client might ask.  Rehearse your answers in advance.  According to Career Coach, Vivian Van Lier, “be clear about your unique value or personal brand to a prospective employer or client.  Know what differentiates you from your competition.”
  • Rehearse your answers. Be sure you are comfortable with your responses in advance of the interview.   There is no substitute for advance practice.

On the spotSpeaking for Interviews_You're Hired speech bubble

You’re prepared for your upcoming job or new business interview.  You’ve reviewed anticipated questions, rehearsed your answers, and are aware that, when the actual time comes,  you may be a little nervous.  That’s only natural.

You’re aware of the value you can bring to the new company or client, and you know how to carry yourself with poise.  Here are some additional pointers to help you through that big interview.

  • Breathe deeply. Practice taking deep breaths when yourehearse your answers, and before you begin speaking at the actual interview or presentation.    Breathing deeply helps you relax, helps slow down that beating heart rate, and also helps improve voice quality.
  • Don’t race your words. When people are nervous or excited, there is often a tendency to speak fast. This signals, “I want to get it over with.”  Unless you have been allotted a specific time frame for your interview or presentation, take your time.  You will sound more authoritative, and in control.
  • Be energetic and enthusiastic. But don’t overdo it.  Too much enthusiasm could signal that you’re desperate for the job.
  • Let your personality shine through. Be your real and genuine self; and not who you think the interviewer or potential client is looking for.  If the fit is there, it will come through.  If the chemistry isn’t there, know that it wasn’t meant to be, and that there will be other opportunities.

It’s all about having a conversation between you and your prospective employer or client.  If you can relax and enjoy it, so will those on the other end.  And, who knows, it may be the job or client of a lifetime!

Top Speaking Skills for Interviews, Part II

Communications Skills for Job Hunting and New Business Success

Speaking for Interviews_You're Hired speech bubbleYou’re prepared for your upcoming job or new business interview.  You’ve reviewed anticipated questions, rehearsed your answers, and are aware that, when the actual time comes,  you may be a little nervous.  That’s only natural.

You’re aware of the value you can bring to the new company or client, and you know how to carry yourself with poise.  Here are some additional pointers to help you through that big interview.

  • Breathe deeply. Practice taking deep breaths when you rehearse your answers, and before you begin speaking at the actual interview or presentation.    Breathing deeply helps you relax, helps slow down that beating heart rate, and also helps improve voice quality.
  • Don’t race your words. When people are nervous or excited, there is often a tendency to speak fast. This signals, “I want to get it over with.”  Unless you have been allotted a specific time frame for your interview or presentation, take your time.  You will sound more authoritative, and in control.
  • Be energetic and enthusiastic. But don’t overdo it.  Too much enthusiasm could signal that you’re desperate for the job.
  • Let your personality shine through. Be your real and genuine self; and not who you think the interviewer or potential client is looking for.  If the fit is there, it will come through.  If the chemistry isn’t there, know that it wasn’t meant to be, and that there will be other opportunities.

It’s all about having a conversation between you and your prospective employer or client.  If you can relax and enjoy it, so will those on the other end.  And, who knows, it may be the job or client of a lifetime!

This is the second part in our two-part series on public speaking, comportment, and interview skills. Read Part I here.

Top Speaking Skills for Interviews, Part I

Credit- Studio Tdes, The Daily English Show
Credit- Studio Tdes, The Daily English Show

Communications Skills for Job Hunting and New Business Success

Whether you’re an employee looking to further your career,  an entrepreneur or a business executive targeting new clients, there is nothing like a job interview or a new business pitch to put your communications skills to the test.  How you come across to a potential employer or client can be as important– if not more important– as your business ­­­skills themselves.

Employers and clients not only look for your skill set; they want to know your personality.  And, sometimes it just comes down to the chemistry between you and the interviewer(s).

It’s understandable if you have the jitters when it comes time for the job interview or business presentation.  After all, it’s important to your career and to your business growth.  Here are some tips to help you prepare for that big job interview or business pitch.

  • Expect to be nervous. It’s only natural when there is something at stake.  So,  expect some amount of nervousness.  Go with the flow, and accept that your nervousness may be excitement and anticipation, rather than fear and dread.  And remember that the interviewer has as much at stake as you do, in hiring the right person for the right job.
  • Carry yourself confidently. How you carry yourself is as important as the clothes you wear for that interview or presentation.  Look in the mirror and view yourself both standing up and sitting down.  Remember that first impressions count, so the way you enter a room for that first introduction or handshake is important.  When sitting down, remember to sit up straight, but not stiff.  Practice your stance beforehand. Notice your interviewer’s  body language, and take a cue from that.  If they are sitting erect, do so.  If they tend to lean forward, you may want to slightly do so as well.
  • Be prepared. Anticipate questions your potential employer or client might ask.  Rehearse your answers in advance.  According to Career Coach, Vivian Van Lier, “be clear about your unique value or personal brand to a prospective employer or client.  Know what differentiates you from your competition.”
  • Rehearse your answers. Be sure you are comfortable with your responses in advance of the interview.   There is no substitute for advance practice.

Body Work for Public Speaking

Standing Woman_Black and White outfitHave you ever thought about how your body affects your public speaking?  How the way you move, hold yourself, and breathe all play a role in creating a powerful presence?

That’s the subject of a two-session “Body Basics for Public Speaking” mini-course I’m giving on two Tuesdays beginning July 21, at the 92nd Street Y.  Come and explore the role your body plays in managing nervousness, helping you project better, and being an all-around confident public speaker.

For more information and to register click here.